Matt Damon Says Steven Soderbergh's 'Liberace' Will Now Shoot In 2012

by Kevin Jagernauth
February 18, 2011 7:38 AM
8 Comments
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Unsurprisingly Thinks Ben Affleck Deserved An Oscar Nomination For 'The Town'



Last we heard, Steven Soderbergh was clearing his final batch of products, preparing his exit from the world of movie directing to take up painting, a pastime he has quietly but studiously pursued for quite some time. Well, retirement is still in the cards but it might just have to wait as his film projects may keep him busier a little longer than expected.

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Damon reveals that the long-gestating "Liberace" with Michael Douglas is now aiming to shoot in 2012 instead of this summer as previously scheduled. "This ‘Liberace’ script is just wonderful. Michael’s going to be just phenomenal in that part. We’re shooting that in 2012," Damon said. There are a couple likely reasons for the shift. Firstly, Soderbergh is still shooting "Contagion" and despite his reputation for working insanely fast, with an October release date looming he's likely going to be very busy getting the film through post-production to focus on directing something else. Also, Damon recently signed on to star in Neill Blomkamp's mysterious, big budget sci-fi pic "Elysium" which is gearing up to shoot this summer. Regardless, Damon reveals that Soderbergh is adamant about retiring, once again reiterating that the director is simply bored with filmmaking. And while Damon -- like us -- will miss the helmer's skill behind the camera, he adds that Soderbergh's talents are at the level where he now shoots and cuts at a phenomenal pace.

“He has the most varied body of work of anybody I can think of. He’s at this point where we could shoot during the day, and him being the cinematographer and the director, we’d go home, have an hour or two off, and then meet him back at the hotel bar in Chicago. They’d have a back room where he’d sit, have some pretzels and a drink and he’d take a look at the day’s work. Scott Burns, the writer, Greg Jacobs, his first-AD, and me, we’d show up, get a drink and hang out with him. Steven would have his headphones on, sitting at his laptop. And in about 20 minutes he’d cut together the day’s work. ‘OK,’ he’d say, pull his headphones off and turn the computer around and show us, right there, what we’d shot that day and how it would look on the big screen when the movie comes out. THAT FAST. He’s a FREAK," Damon says about his work with the director on "Contagion."

“When we did ‘Ocean’s Twelve,’ we did a wrap party at a bowling alley. I went up to him and said, ‘Hey Steven, thanks. Great time working with you. Thanks. How do you think the movie’s going to be?’ And he say, ‘You wanna SEE it?’ He’d finished cutting it and had it on a laptop. Right there, he shows me the movie!’ (LAUGHS)" Pretty amazing stuff.

But Soderbergh isn't the only director Damon is stumping for, as he (not so surprisingly) thinks that his best bud Ben Affleck deserved some Oscar love for "The Town" saying, “Don’t get me started, but he did such a great job writing and directing that, and acting in it. At least some acknowledgement for the screenplay. And there are ten best picture nominees, It wasn’t one of the ten best? I think so."

So, how will the cards play out for Soderbergh? He's got both "Haywire" and "Contagion" arriving in theaters this year, and then "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." and "Liberace" left to shoot before he puts down the camera and picks up a paintbrush. No word yet on the order of his last two films, but we'd guess that George Clooney's availability -- who he wants to star in the former -- will probably play a determining factor.

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More: Films, Actors, Liberace, Michael Douglas

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8 Comments

  • Kojack104 | March 4, 2011 6:04 AMReply

    You never know what the artist is thinking before he compulsively liberates his sculpture from the dream-sleeping inside the block of marble.

  • Stephen Belden | February 19, 2011 4:20 AMReply

    I was wondering the same thing, Cory. Seems like it wouldn't be hard for him to crank those out. And I guess "Cleo" isn't happening, which is probably for the best...

  • Cory Everett | February 19, 2011 12:47 AMReply

    What happened with the deal Soderbergh signed with Mark Cuban back in 2005 for 6 films? He's only released "Bubble" and "The Girlfriend Experience" so far, has he shot 4 more or does he plan on squeezing them in before retirement too?

    "The deal calls for six, high def video films from Soderbergh (produced and/or directed) that will be released on DVD, in theatres, and on the HDNet cable channel at the same time."

  • Dan | February 18, 2011 8:59 AMReply

    to Rob...the 'secret film' in australia was just a home movie thing for the cast of the play he directed down there..it will never be 'released' he just gave the cast each a dvd of it..

  • sp | February 18, 2011 8:36 AMReply

    I understand Matt's support of Ben's directing /writing job, but Mr. Affleck's performance in "The Town" was very bland. Jeremy Renner easily hijacked all his scenes with Ben.

  • rodie | February 18, 2011 8:29 AMReply

    I hate to be morbid, but given Douglas' health situation (which I know is good right now, but still), I wish they'd have been able to shoot it this summer.

  • Edward Davis | February 18, 2011 8:21 AMReply

    you obviously haven't been reading E! online. If there was ever a shot of it coming out (which was next to none), now it has no shot in hell.

  • Rob | February 18, 2011 8:20 AMReply

    What about that secret film he shot in Australia? Any word on that ever seeing the light of day?

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